Yorkshire Building Society and Citizens Advice have announced the expansion of an innovative partnership launched last year where Citizens Advice advisers are available one or two days a week in branches to support members of the public with a range of issues, including financial well-being.
Yorkshire Building Society was the first UK financial services provider to offer this in person one-to-one service and is expanding the scheme from six to 18 of its branches in partnership with Citizens Advice.
The scheme has already benefitted more than 530 people since launching in May 2021.
Yorkshire Building Society and Citizens Advice partnership expansion video
Yorkshire Building Society and Citizens Advice have announced the significant expansion of an innovative partnership that initially piloted across six of the Society’s branches in Yorkshire last year and has already benefitted more than 530 people.
Following the success of the pilot, the expansion will treble the number of branches offering the scheme to 18 across Yorkshire and the North West region. The programme commits Yorkshire Building Society to fund Citizens Advice advisers to hold free, confidential appointments at least one day a week across the 18 locations until March 2023.
The appointments are open to everyone in the community not only Yorkshire Building Society customers. The Citizens Advice advisers offer independent advice in private meeting rooms to assist people with a wide range of issues, including financial well-being.
Stephen White, Interim Chief Executive of Yorkshire Building Society, said:
The current economic climate with rising inflation, energy price increases and general cost of living pressures has brought into stark relief the issues that many people are facing around financial wellbeing.
That is why I’m proud to announce the expansion of our partnership with Citizens Advice. It is a timely undertaking by both organisations to be able to increase the offering of support to those in need in our communities.
Last year we committed to enhance existing initiatives and establish new schemes to help people of all ages and stages of life with financial resilience, and this programme that has already benefitted significant numbers of people to date, forms part of a £1.84million investment that we have put into those purposeful activities in 2021 and 2022.
Each appointment is up to 60 minutes long and can be booked directly by contacting a participating branch.
Dame Clare Moriarty, Chief Executive of Citizens Advice, said:
With the cost of living crisis hitting people hard, it’s crucial that people can access the advice they need to help weather this storm. The expansion of our partnership with Yorkshire Building Society will help even more people get the advice they need.
Of the 532 people assisted in 2021 through the pilot scheme, nearly 3 in 5 people needed help with benefits, tax credits and universal credit.
Adam Waterfall, branch manager at Yorkshire Building Society in Leeds, said:
As one of the initial branches that ran the programme it’s great that we will be continuing to offer this support to both customers and members of the public within our communities. In fact, nearly six out of ten appointments so far have been with non-customers.
Since the beginning of our partnership with Citizens Advice, I have been genuinely shocked about some of the stories I have heard. The issues that some local people are facing daily are at times beyond belief and the scariest aspect for me is that often they have no support network or don’t know where to turn to for help. I’ve witnessed first-hand how this partnership can provide an absolute lifeline for people to be able to have access to that vital support when they really need it.
The 18 Yorkshire Building Society branches running the scheme are Ashton-Under-Lyne, Barnsley, Bolton, Brighouse, Castleford, Dewsbury, Doncaster, Halifax, Huddersfield, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Preston, Rothwell, Sheffield, Stockport, Wakefield and York.